New Delhi: Former Juventus teammates Alessandro Del Piero and David Trezeguet will meet on a football field again, as opponents, when the Delhi Dynamos kick off their Indian Super League campaign against FC Pune City at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Tuesday.
Having entered into a partnership with renowned Dutch club Feyenoord, the hosts have decided to go with the traditional Dutch playing style. They have named Holland’s Harm van Veldhoven as manager.
Led by Italian World Cup winner Del Piero, the Dynamos have an array of promising foreign and local players to bank on.
The safety of the Delhi goal seem to be in good hands. The experienced Marek Cech, who has represented reputed European clubs such as Lokomotiv Moscow, Viktoria Plzen, and Sparta Prague, will vie for the first choice custodian’s slot along with promising Belgian Kristof van Hout.
The duo’s presence probably means that India U-23 goalkeeper Jagroop Singh will find it hard put to find a slot in the playing XI. The defence will be led by Stijn Houben a teenager from the Feyenoord academy and 29-year-old Belgian Wim Raymaekers.
They will be backed up a talented bunch of local players, the foremost being former India central defender Anwar Ali. Govin Singh is another experienced option in the centre of the defence. The fleet-footed Naoba Singh, Robert Lalthlamuana and India U-22 player Shouvik Ghosh could be more than useful sidebacks.
The forwardline and midfield seem to be in good form with foreign recruits Mads Junker, Morten Skoubo, Hans Mulder and Pavel Elia finding the net during warm-up games. Former Denmark international Junker will be expected to spearhead the attack alongside del Piero.
As far as the Pune franchise is concerned, the team have striker Trezeguet as their marquee player. Kostas Katsouranis, who captained Greece during the 2014 World Cup, is the other big signing. His pairing with former Inter Milan central defender Bruno Cirillo could prove to be a hard nut to crack for opposing strikers.
Katsouranis, member of the Greek squad who emerged shock winners at the 2004 Uefa Euro Championships, will be expected to pull the strings in midflield.
Hard-tackling Columbian Omar Andrés Rodríguez Martínez, senior India player Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Lenny Rodrigues and Manish Mithani are some of the other promising options in the midfield.
Up front, Trezeguet will have Spanish-born Iván Bolado, Nigerian Dudu Omagbeni and East Bengal’s Joaquim Abranches for company....